THE world gliding titles are expected to provide Benalla with a $5 million bonanza.
The Benalla Council said pilots and their support crews would stay in the area for up to five weeks — and even longer — when the event is held in the summer of 2016-17.
“It will be a major boost for Benalla,” the council’s economic development and tourism manager, Jeanie Hall said yesterday.
“We’re all very excited about this.”
Ms Hall said there was already a great sense of community connection to the championships, in much the same way as there had been during the last world titles in Benalla in 1987.
She said many people in the city still spoke of the lifelong friendships they formed with competitors and their crews 26 years ago.
Ms Hall said the gliding fraternity was well known for how its members liked to get out and explore the regions they visited.
For Benalla, that meant more dollars spent visiting wineries and other attractions in the area, on top of what they spent on accommodation and dining.
“For every pilot you’ve probably got about six support people as well,” she said.”
A Gliding Club of Victoria spokesman said the council had provided great input for the winning submission.